The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories – Review

The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories by Isaac Asimov

Published in 1976

Pages: 211

Genre: Science fiction, short story collection

“Here I am with another collection of science fiction stories, and I sit here and think, with more than a little astonishment, that I have been writing and publishing fiction now for just three-eighths of a century.”

The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories is a short story collection by Isaac Asimov that not only showcases his writing, but gives insight into the background and origin of each story. Asimov is one of the most famous science fiction writers, and it is easy to see why his range and skill with words continue to be celebrated. Since this is a collection of short stories (and the first one I have reviewed on the blog), I will give short descriptions of each story and then my overall impression of the book.

Three Laws of Robotics:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Continue reading “The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories – Review”

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Blue Like Jazz – Review

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

Published in 2003

Pages: 240

Genre: Nonfiction, semi-autobiographical, spirituality

“I once listened to an Indian on television say that God was in the wind and water, and I wondered at how beautiful that was because it meant you could swim in Him or have Him brush your face in a breeze.”

Though the subtitle of Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller, may seem like a bit of an oxymoron, “nonreligious thoughts on Christian theology” is precisely what the book covers. This is a book that does not seek to preach or convert, though it does play to a certain audience; people within or without the church who have reservations about their faith and are looking somewhere other than religious officials for advice fall into this category. Through his ever-present and well-written voice, Miller makes reading the book more like having a casual conversation with a friend than a lofty discussion of Christianity. Continue reading “Blue Like Jazz – Review”

The Divine Comedy – Review

Divina Commedia (Divine Comedy) by Dante Alighieri

Written in 1320, first printed in 1472

Carlyle-Okey-Wicksteed Unabridged Translation

Pages: 625

Genre: Narrative poem, Italian literature

“In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself in a dark wood where the straight way was lost.”

Arguably one of the most influential pieces of long-form poetry in the Western world, The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is an intimidating and enriching tome. After an introduction that gives historical context about the author and the poem itself, the reader is thrust back into the world of 14th century Italy. This allegorical poem is split into three sections: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso; as Dante climbs through Hell up to Purgatory before his ascension to Heaven, he likewise travels from sin into reconciliation through purgation, and finally redemption in paradise. Continue reading “The Divine Comedy – Review”